Income for NHS Dentists Drops 35% in a Decade
According to figures released by NHS Digital, the taxable earnings of NHS dentists has dropped by 35% in real terms since 2006.
The average income for a dentist who owns a dental practice was £69,200 in 2015/16, a fall of more than £45,000 over the last ten years.
These figures indicate a fall in real terms earnings by 1.9% in 2015/16. In Northern Ireland, the fall was 1.4%, although in Scotland, incomes bucked the trend and increased by 1.1%.
The chair of General Dental Practice at the BDA, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen has said that the “underinvestment” and pay freezes risk “choking the life” out of the NHS dental system. He calls for further assistance, similar to those seen in the GP sector for a cornerstone of the health system in England, noting that patients stand to lose out the most in terms of access and investment as these issues reach crisis levels.
NHS dentistry in England, along with a number of public sector positions, currently has a below inflation 1% pay-rise for 2017/18, which in practice is a pay cut in real terms.
A spokesperson for the NHS suggested that the figures do not take into account that more dentists are working on a part-time basis for NHS patients, and so will not feel the headline loss in income.